Meet Anne, she has an awesome Run-Spiration story to tell!
We love helping Anne with her run strength training, so she can get out there and earn more awesome event bling Keep running strong Anne, we can't wait to see what event you tick off next.
I’ve been a bit of a gym-bunny since my mid-30’s - I love pushing my body to see just what it is capable of - usually so much more than I think it is!
When we moved to NZ I just didn’t get around to joining a gym, not until 2014. By then I had been diagnosed as being at high risk of experiencing a cardio-vascular event. My blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels were through the roof so I had to make some lifestyle changes. A couple of years later I was also diagnosed as having osteoarthritis in both knees and an ankle; and I’m also asthmatic. Not the best conditions to take up running, or so I thought.
My daughter was the one who lit the running fire. Having run the 10km at Queenstown in 2016, she suggested I run it with the following year. 52 year old, asthmatic, arthritic me take up running?! But I liked the look of the track alongside Lake Wakatipu, the event photos, and her medal, made it look fun. So, I sought medical advice and was cleared to give it a go. I signed up with the PT at my gym as I reasoned it made sense to have the advice and assistance of someone experienced and qualified to oversee what I was doing and help develop my body strength.
In May 2017 I started running on the treadmill for very short intervals. I did almost all of my running training on the treadmill that year - right up to running 9km a couple of weeks before the event. I didn’t have the confidence to run outside in front of ‘judgmental’ people, but I forced myself to do so a couple of times. In my mind everyone I saw was fitter, slimmer, younger, faster than me and I was convinced that when they saw me ploddingly puffing along they would be asking themselves what I thought I was doing at my age/size/fitness or, even worse, would be silently laughing at me.
I completed the 2017 Queenstown Marathon 10km in around 1hour 22 mins (about 7 mins slower than my daughter). After the first 3 kms I loved everything about that experience - and I was hooked on running (and event medals).
Since then, my confidence has grown. I no longer train on the treadmill (unless the weather is really bad). Instead, I embrace running outdoors and I don’t care what others think of me (the reality is that runners are far too focused on their own performance to judge anyone else’s).
I’ve received non-runners ‘advice’ that I’m too old to run and that it’s not good for me with my health conditions (thankfully not a view shared by my GP or Physio), suffered injuries, and learnt more about the structure of the knee joint and how the muscles and ligaments in the leg work together than I ever imagined! And I’m still running, with no immediate intention of stopping. Running has helped lower my blood pressure, reduce my cholesterol levels and, through strengthened muscles, enabled me to manage my arthritis better.
From that first 10km I’ve continued to push myself physically and mentally, increasing my distances up through 12km to completing my first half marathons at Queenstown last year and Rotorua more recently - not bad for a 56 year old grandmother!
My best advice for those wanting to start running.
Never judge your progress by those of other people - you are on your own journey, as are they.
Always do a warm up and cool down, and build strength and stability alongside your runs, to help avoid injury and aid recovery.